What’s Right With Our Schools: Get Future Ready

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Hamilton County Schools recently teamed up with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce to help students Get Future Ready! It was a networking that more than lived up to its name.

Lisa Blakely is the District Lead for HCS Future Ready Institute.

She explains, “Get Future Ready is an event where the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton County Schools partner to provide students an opportunity to explore our future ready institutes in our school district. So, we have 28 institutes in 13 high schools that have all prepared some engaging activity for students to explore what it’s about and what kind of opportunities it provides.”

Jill Moses is the Business Management Techer for the Coca-Cola Future Ready Institute at Hixon High School.

Jill explains, “This event specifically helps students make connections. It’s all about meeting people and making connections and building relationships. Some people don’t even know what EPB does. They don’t even know what Hixson High School does, the Business Department. So, this allows those students to have some exposure there.”

Elsy Perez is an 11th grader at Howard High School.

She says, “For people that are in middle school, I just think this is really helpful because you can see all the other schools that are offering, because I know people when they’re growing up, they didn’t have all these different opportunities. They can get jobs like straight out of high school. They can see what other schools offer instead of just the school they’re selling for, and I just think it’s just really cool and really helpful for everyone.”

Lisa Blakely adds, “Well our middle school counselors primarily, our middle schools, we partner with them to get the students here, the rising 9th graders, but the partnership with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce is invaluable. because they have the direct connections to a lot of our businesses and post-secondary partners and community partners that we also partner with from as the school system. But it they’re able to help us get everybody in the same place, so that students can explore by career cluster.”

Jill chips in, “As a parent, I also think this is a major opportunity, a big opportunity for these kids to have exposure. Some students don’t even know what we offer, even students in our own buildings sometimes don’t even know what we offer. So, it’s really neat for them to have the experience, that tangible experience to see what’s in front of them.”

Elsy says, “After high school I can go and get a job at Erlanger since I am in The Erlanger Institute. I can go to college, or I can go get a job straight at Erlanger.”

Lisa concludes, “We want kids to start understanding what jobs are out there, because everything is about exposure, and we want them to be as familiar with themselves as they can, and how they connect with the world around them. So, engagement equals success.”



Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools